Saturday, June 25, 2022
The Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18).
We are not made to live alone. You don't have to believe that scripture to understand that. We examples of that in all of our lives. One of the worst punishments, in fact, in prison is solitary confinement. Being without someone around you is a PUNISHMENT, so why would you imprison yourself?
In media, there is ample examples, also. Right now, I just finished the new season of The Umbrella Academy (very good), and being without her family almost drives Allison crazy. The same is true of number 5 in the first season. He was separated from his family for decades, so he develops a relationship with a mannequin. In I Am Legend, Will Smith does the same thing. I haven't seen Castaway, but from what I gather Tom Hank's character does the same with a Coconut, and Doctor Who does it with a robot head when defending the town of Christmas in a big special.
People need intimacy or closeness with.... someone. We always present intimacy as a physical act, but that act... if it really is intimacy... is the result of shared vulnerability, care, and trust. It is the harshest penalty for divorce that we starve ourselves of that benefit in the journey to be "healed" when you can never been healed if you are alone. You are only deepening the wound. We should not wait to be healed, but find someone with whom we can mutually...heal, together.
Companionship is a good thing, and I believe it is the ONLY way we will EVER find happiness.
First of two blogs that came together in my mind as I was driving, yesterday.
There is a scene in one of my favorite movies, You've Got Mail, where Joe Fox tells Kathleen Kelly that it's not personal.. it's business. She replies by saying..
"I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's *personal* to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?"
But, such in the society in which we live, where being personal or being seen as weak is the cardinal sin that you cannot allow to happen. We live in a society where a man opening a door for a woman is not seen as an act of honor, chivalry, and courtesy but is seen as an insult that suggests she could not do it, which was neither the intent or message of the good deed. We live in a society where people fear taking public funds because of how they will look, so they live in greater poverty than they need.
Indeed, the other day I heard a commercial for Kars for Kids, where people can donate their car to children to drive, and I thought... why isn't there a similar program for the poor? We will throw away cars to children that COULD get a JOB and pay for them and live in houses with little bills, but we won't give the same cars to people that could use them to feed their families? People would rather die or let others die than admit that people can be weak.
One thing I have told my children is that they should always tell me when they have a need, because I can't do anything to fix it without knowing. However, people walk around pretending everything is peachy and making everyone else believe that is the case for them. So, the politicians and others see what they can see and conclude that everyone is great and the poor are just abusing the system, when the reality.... even before the pandemic.. was that almost half of the "good" people were paying for their expenses on credit cards that will eventually come due.
It's ok to ask for help. It's not a horrible thing that a housewife that is raising children in a household or taking care of home expenses would rest upon the income of her husband to help and allow him to do things for her. The PROBLEM is that men are not likewise letting their wife do things for them, as well. Intimacy requires mutual vulnerability, but instead we have no one being vulnerable to each other and therefore no relationship, at all. In my own life, I have always been open with my feelings, and that causes me to be seen as not "masculine" enough for not being cold. But, one day I will have a real relationship with someone that can not only value that intimacy but receive help from me for their own needs and as a sign of affection, as well.
Friday, June 24, 2022
I've touched on this from time to time, but I thought it deserved a refresher on the blog.
What is magic? Generally, it is something happening beyond our understanding. Centuries ago, people were called witches for practicing basic pharmacy that we know, today. I'm not saying that what was deemed as magic was always something that was really something physical, like pulling off a hood in a Scooby Doo cartoon. There are some things that were and are unseen, both in what is called witchcraft/ magic or even religion. However, it must be said that some of those invisible things have become accepted as reality by many, such as the benefits of meditation, positive/negative energies (attitudes) by people and their effects, and more. I also believe there is divine intervention, but accepting that isn't necessary for this post.
People like to rest in the comfort of things beyond them, when they feel lost, inadequate, or empty to give them hope. Even those that deny religion have other invisible concepts or beliefs upon which they rest. No group is fully what they profess... often it is very much the opposite. However, people BELIEVE in the good in themselves, and the groups they choose; even as they judge absolute negatives in their opponents. That faith is a kind of magic, in and of itself. It empowers people to prepare, try, and maintain their course in the light of disappointments. Many people cite Thomas Jefferson's letters as foundation of an anti-religious separation that Jefferson, himself, did not show. Jefferson wrote and published a BIBLE, in fact, that contained the parables of Jesus as moral teachings. Later in his life, he would as leader of university invite ministers of multiple faiths to come speak on his government funded college. Indeed, once upon a time, I wrote a book that quoted statements of faith by EVERY President and every state from the inception of the country to present. Whether or not those words were true, it is an indication that people want MAGIC in their life... a purpose hope for a manifestation of their dreams. Walt Disney built an empire on that very hunger.
Some weeks ago, I wrote a blog about how we "romanticize" things and how that is an indication that our understanding of "romance" itself is more than just things we can understand .. we romanticize romance. Many in later life take that to mean they should wake up from their "foolish" earlier expectations and desires and should be more "rational" about relationships. Perhaps, that is why so many in later stages of marriage before divorce are so focused on the negatives of their mate. However, those same people that find bitterness in their lives will honor those long time couples that kept "the magic" in their relationships to old age.
It is true that when you romanticize things or believe in a higher purpose or rest upon a higher destiny, you are trusting things in something else, rather than what you can do yourself. But, I have learned in my life that it is those things I do not initiate that holds the greatest value for me. And, maybe I am foolish for doing it, but I intend to follow very old advice and "lean not on my own understanding" as much and instead make room for a little more magical intervention to lead to a life of happy surprises.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
I thought I would write down some general life lessons that I have learned to help others. These are things I have learned over life are good to know.
Balance - There is a book that I read along my studies years ago that was called "choosing to cheat" by Andy Stanley, I believe. Despite the name, I think it was written by a pastor. It's not about having an affair. It's about the choices we make with our interests in our lives. As an example, you could work 24 hours a day and succeed a lot in work, but you would have no family or connections. You could spend all of your time with your family and be poor, because you didn't earn money. You have to choose to cheat yourself from what you COULD do in some of those interests to satisfy other interests, and some interests will get a greater amount of your time, because they are a higher priority. You will always have things pulling you in different directions. Life is meant to be lived in balance.
Time Management - A part of being able to do balance is learning to manage your time. I will plan weeks or months in advance for some things. I will look at the amount of time that I have, the amount of time that something will take, and plan based on how important things are to be done in comparison to other things. It's the same skill I use in financial budgeting, only this is budgeting of your time.
Priorities - If something is important to you, you will make sure it get done. That is a working definition of what priorities are. The same is true for people. If they are important to you, you will set aside time for them and do things for them to make them happy. Jesus puts it like this in Matt 6:21: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." What you value will get your attention and time.
Work - Work isn't fun, and it isn't meant to be. That's why they pay you, and often they will pay you more for things they don't want to do more. If it were something everyone wanted to do, they wouldn't need to pay much to do it. However, work is necessary for progress. If you want to pay your bills or save for things, you need to work to achieve them. All of this is also true for any other kind of work that leads to progress... exercise, romance, hobbies, making connections with others. All of this requires you to do things that you don't want to do to get what you want. It requires you to push outside of your boundaries, because staying inside of the comfort zone and only doing what you like will result in you being alone, overweight, poor, and depressed at not achieving things for which you did not work.